Your oral health is important in ways you can’t imagine. It offers clues about your general health, so it’s important to pay extra attention to it. Poor oral health can also affect the rest of your body due to the connection between specific dental conditions and overall health.
Worldwide, much emphasis has been placed on the importance of oral health. World Oral Health Day, on March 20th, helps spread awareness and educates people around the world.
You can best safeguard yourself by understanding the relationship between your oral health and overall health in Indian Trail, NC.
The Connection Between Oral Health And General Health
Your mouth teams with different bacteria, just like other areas of the body. Although these bacterias are mostly harmless, they can cause disease. Your body’s natural defenses and good dental health care, such as brushing and flossing daily, keep bacteria at bay.
Your mouth is the link to your digestive and respiratory tracts and, if not properly cared for, it can lead to severe health issues. Without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can eventually result in oral infections, such as gum disease and tooth decay.
In addition, the flow of saliva in your mouth is essential. However, painkillers, diuretics, antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants reduce saliva flow. Saliva helps wash away foods, demineralize the teeth, and neutralize acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. Thus, it protects you from microbes that multiply and cause disease.
Sometimes, oral health problems can be severe due to diseases like HIV/AIDS and diabetes. These diseases reduce the body’s ability to fight infection. Additionally, oral bacteria and inflammation caused by periodontal disease can lead to some diseases that will affect your overall health.
Conditions Linked To Oral Health
Some diseases and conditions that are tied to poor oral health include:
- Cardiovascular Disease: Clogged arteries, heart disease, and stroke might be linked to the infections and inflammation caused by oral bacteria.
- Endocarditis: This occurs when the inner lining of your heart chambers or endocardium is infected by germs or bacteria from other parts of your body, like your mouth. The infection circulates through your bloodstream and clings to specific areas in your heart.
- Pneumonia: Some bacteria in your mouth can be drawn into your lungs, leading to pneumonia and other forms of respiratory diseases.
- Pregnancy And Birth Complications: Periodontal disease can result in low birth weight and premature birth.
Conditions That Affect Your Oral Health
Certain health conditions can affect your dental health. Such conditions include:
- Diabetes: Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection. Individuals who have diabetes are more prone to gum disease. Research indicates that people who have gum disease often struggle with controlling their blood sugar levels. Undergoing regular periodontal treatment can help you better manage diabetes.
- HIV/AIDS: People living with HIV/AIDS often encounter oral problems such as painful mucosal lesions.
- Osteoporosis: This is a bone disease linked with tooth loss and periodontal bone loss. Some of the medications that treat osteoporosis carry a small risk of damaging the jawbones.
Other conditions that might be possibly traced to oral health are rheumatoid arthritis, eating disorders, oral cancers, and an immune system disorder that results in dry mouth called Sjogren’s syndrome.
You must communicate with your dentist about changes in your oral health and the kind of medication you take. This is essential if you recently fell ill or you have a chronic condition like diabetes.
How To Protect Your Oral Health
The optimal way to protect your oral health is to practice good oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene consists of the following:
- Brush your teeth twice daily for at least two minutes. Ensure you use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush.
- Floss your teeth daily.
- Use mouthwash to get rid of food particles after brushing and flossing.
- Limit your intake of sugary food and drinks and eat a healthy diet.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or whenever the bristles become splayed or worn.
- Schedule occasional dental cleanings and checkups with your dentist.
- Cut down on tobacco use.
In a nutshell, taking utmost care of your oral health is a long-term investment in your overall health. Whenever you notice an oral health problem arising, you can contact us at Nexus Dental Associates. We are your number 1 friend when it comes to your dental health.